49th Walnut Valley Festival

September 15 - 19, 2021

National Flat-Picking Championships
Winfield, KS

49th Walnut Valley Festival has been postponed to September 2021 due to COVID-19 Concerns

All tickets previously sold for WVF 49 will be valid for entry in September 2021. Tickets are also currently available for purchase.

2021 Spring FINGER STYLE GUITAR Workshops

Helen Avakian - Guitar Jam Recipe, Beginning Improvisation

Saturday, March 20, 2021 - Noon to 1:30pm

Jamming is the art of improvising or making up music without extensive preparation or predefined arrangements. Learn to jam easily on your own and with others even if you have no previous experience with improvisation. You will learn how to go about playing your guitar with skills you already have, and sound like you know what you are doing! We will explore how to literally “speak music” on your guitar as easily as you speak words in an everyday conversation. Just like you develop a repertoire or collection of songs that you know and play, you will develop a repertoire of musical ideas that you can pull out in any situation as naturally as we find words to communicate what we want to say. We will do some group guitar playing and jamming. Guitarists need to be fairly comfortable with the basic open chords, Am, C, Em, G, D, F or Fma7 and some single note playing. Skill Level:  Advanced Beginner through Intermediate Level Guitarists.

Maximum 12 Participants

Helen Avakian - Guitarists Performance Workshop

Saturday, March 20, 2021 - 3pm to 4:50pm CDT

Do you spend a lot of time practicing music on your own, feeling like it is going pretty well, only to perform under your capabilities when you play in front of others?  Would you like to transform your stage fright to stage excite-ment? This workshop is an exploration of ways to work with energy of stage fright and turn it into something positive so that one can perform more effectively and enjoy it along the way.  I will offer various techniques and tips from mind set, ways to prepare in practice sessions to ways to calm down before and during performance.  There will be an opportunity for participants to perform and share with the group of they wish to do so.  We will also do some group guitar work.  This is a topic near and dear to my heart as I have contended with stage fright since I was a child.  Years of study and performing have helped me to work with that energy, enjoy performing, compete effectively in guitar contests, and win the International Finger Style Guitar Championship.  I have helped a great many students prepare for their contest performances.    Skill Level:  Advanced Beginner / Intermediate to Advanced.   

Observers who do not wish to perform are welcome and may ask questions.

Maximum 12 Performers

Maximum 10 Observers

Stephen Bennett - Creating a Basic Finger Style Solo Arrangement

Saturday March 20, 2021 - 11am to 12:30pm

We’ll take a simple melody and do just what the class title suggests – come up with a basic solo arrangement of it. The particular tune(s) is yet to be determined.  Skill Level:  Intermediate

Maximum 10 Participants

Stephen Bennett - From Oriental Swing to Booty Swing to Finger Style Guitar

Saturday, March 20, 2021 - 3pm to 4:50pm CDT

An in-depth look at how a song from 1938 was transformed first into trendy European club music and then into an acoustic guitar solo. Skill Level: Advanced

Maximum 10 Participants

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Office Hours

Post-Festival through May

9am-Noon; 1pm to 5pm

June through August 2nd


August 3rd through September 7th